Geelong coach Chris Scott says he has empathy for Hawthorn’s struggles and loss of invincibility, having experienced it for himself after four straight Grand Final appearances at the Brisbane Lions.
He admitted to feeling the Lions’ aura had all but evaporated immediately after their 2004 Grand Final defeat to Port Adelaide.
“It felt like it was overnight,” Scott said on SEN’s The Super Box.
“We won three premierships in a row, played in a Grand Final 2004, and I think Round 22 2005 we lost by over 100 points to a team that only just snuck into the finals.
“It was incredibly difficult, and I said in my post-game press conference on the weekend to an extent, we have I’m not sure whether it’s sympathy, it’s certainly empathy for what Hawthorn are feeling at the moment.”
Scott said being unable to find the answers was a helpless feeling and very vivid, having previously felt untouchable, but he backed the Hawks players to work their way through their challenge.
“I remember vividly what it was like as a player to look around and not have the answers, where previously in a five-six year period,” he said.
“It felt like if we played our best no-one could touch us.
“It’s incredibly hard for the players on-field, but they’re a really strong group and they’ll work their way through it.”
He believes one of the key reasons that has seen Hawthorn decline suddenly has been the ‘’unprecedented’’ evenness of the competition.
“It’s also happening at a time where we’ve got unprecedented evenness in the comp, so that’s a challenge for the teams that might not be as good as previous years,” Scott said.
“But, it’s also an opportunity because I don’t think there will be four or five teams that put a gap on the rest of the competition.”